Questions to Ask a Potential Fulfillment Partner #14

by Sarah Smith | eCommerce, eCommerce Fulfillment, Order Fulfillment Software

How much do your shipping and fulfillment services cost and what do I get?

This can be a complicated question since there is no standardized billing process in the fulfillment industry. However, every company should take note of your needs and then provide you with a comprehensive proposal that includes detailed pricing.

There are basically two types of charges. These are monthly recurring charges and fulfillment charges. Monthly recurring charges occur regardless if you ship a package or not. The basic monthly charges you should be paying include; warehouse space, account management and software charges. Monthly recurring charges may fluctuate depending on certain variables such as how many pallets you are storing. These charges will be incurred each month regardless of order volume. Fulfillment charges occur only when you ship a package. This includes pick and pack charges and materials associated with each order. They are directly correlated with order volume. Basic fulfillment charges include; shipping, materials and pick and pack charges. Generally you should be able to verify all charges without relying on your fulfillment company for an explanation. If the company has an hourly charge for activities such as receiving or assembly, be cautious, since it is almost impossible to verify the time and it is a practice that lends itself to over-billing.